Apply now Applying for a research grant

Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Grant Round 2021 call for applications is now closed. The deadline for submission of the online application was 5pm on Tuesday 1st June 2021.

For the details of the call please see Grant Round 2021

Due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the charity, funding available for new grants to be awarded in 2021 is limited. We have therefore made the decision to release a restricted funding call for 2021. We will be able to award up to a single, 12-month grant per the specific conditions listed in the call.

We are also delighted to continue our SMA PhD Partnership with SMA UK. As part of this partnership, MDUK and SMA UK will support one 4-year PhD studentship in 5q SMA research as part of Muscular Dystrophy UK’s grant round 2021.

All applications will be sent for international peer-review and will be reviewed by our Lay Research Panel and Medical Research Committee. The Medical Research Committee will sit in October/ November 2021. Its recommendations are discussed by the charity’s Board of Trustees, which meets several times a year. You will be informed of the decision as soon as possible after the Board of Trustees meeting. For more information please see Applying for a Research Grant.

We recognise that the timing of this year’s Grant Round is different from previous years and we hope that we will be able to return to our normal grant round timing for the 2022 Grant round.

Guidance For Applicants

To apply you will need to submit the following:

  1. An application using our online application form, by the given deadline
  2. A signed copy of the scientific application by email, which can arrive up to three weeks after the above deadline

Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

The following points should be considered when submitting your application:

  • If you wish to apply for a Muscular Dystrophy UK research grant please be aware that the principal investigator must hold a contract which extends beyond the duration of the grant at an institution approved by Muscular Dystrophy UK. Muscular Dystrophy UK generally only funds UK-based research although international collaboration is encouraged; when there is an exception to this it will be announced in the grant call.
  •  If you currently hold a Muscular Dystrophy UK-funded project or studentship grant, you may still apply. Each applicant can submit up to one application per grant type in a grant round. Multiple applications for the same grant type will not be accepted.
  •  We welcome project and proof of principle applications from early career researchers. Researchers should have a research degree e.g. PhD, MD or the equivalent for non-UK countries OR, if an allied health professional, should have a post-graduate degree (PhD, mPhil or Masters degree) and/or demonstrate significant experience with trial procedures, conducting research and monitoring its progress.
  •  A single resubmission of previous MDUK grant application is allowed and should be indicated as such in the relevant field in the application form.


  • Due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the charity, funding available for new grants to be awarded in 2021 is limited. Please refer to the call for the conditions included in the 2021 Grant round remit
  • It is important for applicants to view their research strategically and explain how this proposed research fits with the charity’s Research Strategy in the relevant question in the application form.
  • In the development of diagnostic tools, there must be clear evidence of the exploitation route and pathway to adoption.
  • Research to develop animal models must demonstrate a clear route to a therapeutic application. We will only fund the creation and phenotyping of new animal models when there is no alternative available
  • Research projects collecting natural history data should be multi-centre and of sufficient duration and size to collect relevant and useful data. It is important that there is a harmonised approach across the field and applications should include international communication and/or collaboration. They should include multiple outcome measures (and where possible include multi-system measures) to be of maximum value to researchers and funders. The application should include a plan for financial sustainability in the longer term.


Before applying, please also see our:

Grant FAQs

Research Strategy

-Terms and Conditions (project grant or PhD studentship)

-Guidance for completing the online application form (project grant or PhD studentship)

If you are unsure whether your research fits within our strategy and current criteria, please contact us at

External Jointly- Funded Calls- Doctoral Fellowships

Due to budgetary constraints, we are not currently able to support Clinical Research Training Fellowships through our partnerships with the Medical Research Council or the National Institute for Health Research.